Review Summary: Hail Odin! Hail Thor! Hail... Falkenbach?
The woman known as Hildr Valkyrie has gone by many names, such as Iris and even Queen Of Hades. She has also been apart of many bands. The most prominent of these bands are the folk metal supergroup Folkearth (which consists of 30 members!) and the Lord Of The Rings worshiping ambient project Uruk-Hai.
Hildr Valkyrie is a master when it comes to using Summoning style keyboard and drum programming. The music is very upbeat and catchy as well as atmospheric and serene. Her vocals are not dynamic in the music but they add a nice touch, being low in the mix and acting as if they are one with the instruments. The distorted guitars and heavy bass are not dominate to the drums nor the keyboard but add a nice, unsettling touch to the atmosphere. I guess the best way to describe the music is celtic folk metal that worships the likes of Falkenbach and Summoning.
The album is self produced and self financed but has a very clean sound. Even though the guitars could have been mixed better, the drum and keyboard sync perfectly and the bass is surprisingly high in the mix (for a ‘metal’ album, that is). The composition of the music is rather unique in its own way, but does not vary much between songs. You don’t need to read the lyrics to guess that the music is surrounding concepts of Norse mythology. Just like most ‘viking’ metal bands, the music displays the concept vividly (even to the point of being cheesy).
Hildr Valkyrie uses a lot of dramatic effects in her music, which the intro track Long Live Honour
and The Tears
proudly display. The instrumentals are usually very repetitive, which is both a good and bad thing. The upside is that they are extremely catchy and flow well with the vocals. The downside is that there are not very many powerful dynamics in the songs, which wouldn’t be too big a problem if they all didn’t clock over five minutes each. An Ode To All Father Odhinn
easily ranks as the best song on the album with a much more vocal dominate performance and a solid set of similar yet intoxicating dynamic atmospheres.
Hail The Fallen, Hail Thee Einherjar
and the cover of Falkenbach’s Baldurs Tod
are both top notch tracks that show Hildr Valkyrie’s skills as a musician. Keeping the guitar at a very minimalist level and focusing more on the keyboard brings new Summoning to mind when listening to them. The Tears
is easily the heaviest track on the album, focusing more on blast beats and distorted guitar riffs. Hildr Valkyrie manages to keep the focus on her haunting vocals and soft keyboard undertones throughout the song.
Overall this is a great release if you’re into the viking metal trend or if you like celtic music.
* Solid musicianship and compositions.
* Very clean production for a self-released album.
* Great use of melodies and atmospheres.
* Each song could easily be cut back a good two minutes each.
* Can get repetitive.
* Not enough guitar dynamics.
My final grade: 3.5/5